The ANZAC Friendship Weekend saw 5 incredible games of footy (4 AFL and an exhibition Women’s Gaelic Game). Thanks to all the players for playing with such positive attitudes, the umpires who did such outstanding jobs all days, the sponsors who support everything our club does, those who came to watch and our committees who pulled it all together.

Bears/Buffalos Defeated Crabs/Crocs

In the first game of the day the standards were set. Both teams moving the ball expressively on the expanses of the Lord Mayors Oval. The Bears/Buffs were sparked by young Harry Moroney creating several scoring involvements. The Crocs/Crabs more vaunted midfield weren’t able to find the scoring connection to get the job done.

Bears/Buffs 6:2-38 Crocs/Crabs 3:3-21

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 Vipers/Langurs Defeated Tigers/Herons

In the second league game the Langurs had control of the game flow with rebounding backs Matty Barton and Bahen and Trung creating plenty of forward momentum. The Tiger/Heron girls in Jardy, Lan and Lisa created options across the field in a tight battle with the Vipers/Langurs girls . Big Vinh and Harry kept the Langurs pushing hard through the middle.  Langur inacuracy kept the Tigers/Herons in the game and some second half reinforcments arriving kept the game tight almost causing a boil over but in the end falling 1 point short.

Tigers/Herons 4:0-24 Vipers/Langurs 3:7-25

Gaelic Women’s Exhibition Match

The Gaelic Women’s Exhibition match was a ripping affair with both the Saigon Gaels and Na Fianna clubs coming down and continuing their rivalry. In the end the Gaels had more of their core players and took out a comfortable victory.

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AFLW Friendship Match – Al Frescos Golds Defeated Crown Relocations Blacks

The Vietnam Swans women’s national AFL team came together with ladies from the north and the south to draft two teams for the 2022 ANZAC AFL curtain-raiser. Fantastic to see 12 girls travel down from Hanoi and the other ladies from the Lady Swans, Saigon Gaels and Ni Fianna gaelic clubs from Saigon.

The Crown Relocations Blacks came out firing early and were winning the early contested possession. Unfortunately they weren’t able to convert this dominance on the scoreboard, but were still able to take a small lead into quarter time.

The second qtr saw the Al Frescos Gold team change their structure to try and counter the early on ball dominance of the  Blacks. With Eva commanding the backline for the Gold’s and Norma, Clare and Lisa getting their running game going, the Gold’s were able to get themselves back into the game. The first half was played with great intensity as individual commitment and effort to the ball created some impressive football. There was lots of voice around the field with players spreading out which saw options created and some slick ball movement seen.

The third quarter started the same way the second finished off. With the Gold’s dominating with their running game. There were some great tussles on the field, particularly in the match ups of the local Vietnamese girls, who were hard and tough at it all day, Linh v Lucy, Lan v Phuong, Layla v Diep and Alice v Van.

The 3rd quarter also saw the departing National Captain turn back the clock and kick a goal in what was her last game in Vietnam. However, it wasn’t enough to keep the Blacks in touch as Norma was able to also convert and reply on the scoreboard.

The last quarter was played at a slower pace, as the heat and size of the ground took it’s toll. The Golds were able to kick another goal in the 4th which sealed the game. There were many standouts on the day, from the Gaelic girls who had never played and got involved, to the regulars who always provide a great contest and of course, our ever growing number of Vietnamese players who are tough as nails, they are a force to be reckoned with, amazing to see them play AFL in Vietnam and the improvement.

With great skills and courage from all players on the day, it was Ashley Abrahams who managed to play strong hard consistent football and take home the best on ground.

The only sour not on the day was the injury to club stalwart, Siara, who unfortunately dislocated her shoulder during what was also her last game. The club would like to wish Naomi, Siara and Jardi all the best in the next chapter of their lives and thank them for their great support and passion during their time with the Swans.

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Men’s Friendship Match – Al Frescos Golds Def Crown Relocations Blacks

The commemoration of ANZAC day saw the swans flocking to Vung tau where, in a physical encounter, senior experience proved to be the difference between the Al Fresco Golds and the Crown Relocation Blacks in a battle for the books.

The final fixture of the day brought an arm wrestle reminiscent of the 2009 showstopper between the Dons and the Magpies; a single point separating teams by the last siren. The Crown Relocations Blacks opened the scoring for the day off the boot of Irish newcomer Ryan G. The Al Frescos Golds had trouble maintaining forward-half footy early on, with a stoic Crown Relocations Black backline led by commanding Billy C on key forward Villanova.

With the contest in the middle being halved and early injuries reducing an already limited bench the new recruits were left to pick up the slack. A feat well managed by Cam P for the Crown Relocations Blacks finding and using the ball effectively in space.

Al Frescos Gold’s young gun Ollie S on his Swannies debut was scintillating off the half backline. Ollie showed  deadly spoiling efficiency in an effort Dustin Fletcher would be proud of.

It was a youthful Andy G, obliterating the proverbial clock, that eventually led to a break in the deadlock and put the Al Frescos Golds ahead. With the Al Frescos Golds up by 2 goals to start the final term, Blacks had to dig deep to overcome the lead, the heat, and tired feet.

In a genius move coaching move, Aaron “the mouth” Clerkin was moved up forward in the dying stages, kicking 2 in quick succession for the Crown Relocations Blacks. Alas, time waits for none (except Andy G it seems!), and the sounding of the final siren left the Blacks one point short of victory. A sensational game, played in true ANZAC spirit. ‘Lest we forget’.

Congratulations to Billy Crang who was awarded Best on Ground in a losing team by the umpires Rod White and Matt Francis who need to be thanked for their incredible umpiring throughtout the day.


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